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Theory and Practice of Social Planning

Theory and Practice of Social Planning

ALFRED J. KAHN
Copyright Date: 1969
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 360
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7758/9781610443234
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  • Book Info
    Theory and Practice of Social Planning
    Book Description:

    Discusses the intellectual processes involved in social planning. Professor Kahn provides critical tools for the analysis of the planning process, and shows what social planning is and can be. Clarifying the major phases in the planning process, he shows how planning can succeed or fail at any one of these stages. He examined planners in their various roles: as "neutral" technicians and as advocates, as representatives of interest groups and as public officials.

    The book describes both the social aspects of planning and the relationship between social and physical plans.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-323-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
    Alfred J. Kahn
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. I WHAT IS SOCIAL PLANNING?
    (pp. 1-27)

    Planning as a process is in evolution. The word conjures up varied images. To some, it is as all-inclusive as thinking. To others, it is as delineated as specific time-phased programming. When the word “social” is prefixed, the range of imagery increases even further: from planning an entire “social system” to evolving the specifics of a project in a social service agency.

    Formal definitions, although essential, connote different things to different people, particularly in a realm in which many professions and academic disciplines converge and compete and in which language tends to be imprecise. This volume, therefore, begins with illustrations...

  5. II SOCIAL PLANNING AND AMERICAN SOCIETY
    (pp. 28-59)

    Despite reluctance and a contrary rhetoric, Americans are much engaged in planning. However, proposals for increased and improved social planning continue to invite a major confrontation with the manifest ethic. John Kenneth Galbraith has said correctly and somewhat bitterly:

    To suggest that we canvass our public wants to see where happiness can be improved by more and better services has a sharply radical tone. Even public services to amid disorder must be defended. By contrast the man who devises a nostrum for a non-existent need and then successfully promotes both remains one of nature’s noblemen.¹

    In this chapter, we shall...

  6. III DEFINITION OF THE TASK: FACTS, PROJECTIONS, AND INVENTORIES
    (pp. 60-95)

    Planning is a developmental process in which the several levels of intellectual undertaking are in constant interaction. Although a logical sequence may be listed, it is not necessarily a temporal one. Even as we organize for planning, we must provide for the interplay among levels. For our concern with assuring a planning outcome which gives appropriate weight to all relevant elements implies a readiness to refine and revise the outcomes of earlier stages as we move into later ones.

    If a straight line depicts planning as a deductive process in which a sequence of specified formal steps is followed, our...

  7. IV DEFINITION OF THE TASK: VALUES AND PREFERENCES
    (pp. 96-129)

    The Planning task (or needs/task concept) often emerges or evolves· quite informally—or it may be agivenin the social, cultural, or political context. Sometimes circumstances demand or permit fairly systematic exploration of a series of aspects of the relevant realities before the task is set. Such investigation and the related projections may serve to shape, to modify, or to alter the view of the task (Chapter III). Similar generalizations may also be made about the value dimension and community preferences. There can be no rationality without decisions about merit; the planner therefore cannot escape the preference question.¹

    Formal,...

  8. V FORMULATION OF POLICY, THE STANDING PLAN
    (pp. 130-165)

    The chapter’s theme is most clearly announced in a quotation from the volume on planning in business cited earlier:

    Policies are standing plans. Policies are general guides to future decision-making that are intended to shape those decisions so as to maximize their contribution to the goals of the enterprise. Policies are the instruments by which goals are achieved.¹

    The economist Tinbergen, in discussing the social aspects of economic planning, has similarly defined these as “the principles and methods of designing social policies as a necessary component of general policies for economic development. The design of a policy is another word...

  9. VI POLICY: TYPES AND LEVELS OF INTERVENTION
    (pp. 166-191)

    After specification of the object of the planning, the subsystem, one approaches the strategic question of the types and level (s) of intervention which may be considered.

    The economic planner may seek only short-term control over the business cycle, on the downswing, or he may go beyond it. He may also attempt to preserve or to contain an upswing, without reversing it. He may attempt general demand management—or he may intervene in production. He may focus on strategic development projects, on guiding public investment, on broad fiscal and monetary strategics—or may undertake even more comprehensive planning.¹

    Social planners...

  10. VII THINKING ABOUT POLICY: ADDITIONAL DIMENSIONS
    (pp. 192-213)

    The question in focus is: what issues, questions, possibilities, considerations, and concerns do or should come to mind in the transition between task definition and policy derivation? The answers come from that social policy experience which has been consciously monitored and analyzed. In a given context, the planner requires anchor points in values and facts, so as to select the viable options from among the possibilities that actually may be relevant to his particular planning enterprise.

    The schema in the last chapter for considering “levels of intervention” derives in part from the work of several students of social policy. It...

  11. VIII GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS IN PROGRAMMING
    (pp. 214-239)

    The standing plan, policy, must be translated from general principles into program specifics. In the words of a report on budgeting

    “Programs” are time-phased plans for allocating resources and for specifying the successive steps required to achieve stated objectives. They are means to clearly defined ends….

    “Program objectives” are the specific results to be obtained by the planned commitments of resources. They underlie the subsequent definition of the particular organizational, legislative, financial, and procedural means required. [Emphasis in original.]¹

    The history of social welfare legislation contains abundant illustration of legislative enactments or overall plans which were almost flawless in their...

  12. IX PROGRAM BUDGETING AND COST EFFECTIVENESS
    (pp. 240-261)

    As evidence of the increase of planning at the national level in the United States brief reference has been made in Chapter II to the governmental commitment to a planning, programming, and budgeting system (PPBS). Perhaps symptomatic is the sudden and considerable increase in the literature of the subject,¹ which explores application of the system to the social sector generally and to traditional social welfare programs in particular. Especially relevant to the concerns of the present chapter is the utility of PPBS as a programming and administrative device.

    To many of its proponents the PPBS is a comprehensive and all-inclusive...

  13. X PROGRAMMING PROBLEMS IN SOCIAL SERVICE DELIVERY
    (pp. 262-304)

    The discussion of programming has focused initially on the general problem of coordination and on the development of an overall programming strategy. Given the considerable role of social services in social planning, we now turn to several programming issues which are currently of major concern. The intent is both toillustrate the process of thinking about programmingand to deal substantively with urgent issues. We begin with provision for access and channeling, then turn to case integration and accountability, as tasks for programming. Following a section on the protection of citizens throughombudsmenand related devices, there is a brief...

  14. XI ORGANIZATION FOR PLANNING, EVALUATION, AND FEEDBACK
    (pp. 305-327)

    A point of view about the logic of a planning enterprise inevitably carries implications with reference to the organizational structuring of such planning and its staffing. A relatively brief and general exploration of such implications is in order here, including provision for reporting, measurement, feedback, and evaluation. This discussion must be limited and general, since full coverage would demand attention to much of the entire substance of research methodology. We begin with the question of staffing.

    A total planning process, when in any sense broad and comprehensive, requires the consistent or occasional support of several types of people on the...

  15. XII THE FRAMEWORK IN PERSPECTIVE
    (pp. 328-340)

    The early chapters have documented that we in the United States have undertaken modest social planning, despite hesitancy in the ethic and fears that planning could undermine democracy. Such planning is carried on, and its scale seems destined to increase in coming years, because there are urgent problems to be solved, social choices to be made, resources to be carefully allocated. Further, exploration suggests that effective planning might protect and even enhance democratic values. The critical questions in this latter regard are: who plans and how is it done?

    Among those who have no ideological or political opposition to social...

  16. INDEX
    (pp. 341-348)